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When a new personal trainer client signs on for a block booking of personal training, the first thing we do is get them to keep an honest and accurate food diary, which we then take away and analyse. More often than not, although the food going in is not too bad many of our clients fall down on sugary drinks. Whether it’s coke or sprite, sugary tea, some types of orange squash, there is a lot more energy going in from these sources than you would think. The interesting thing is that although we get clients who say that these drinks give them an energy boost when they get tired at work, it is the drinks themselves that are creating a cycle of excessively high and then low blood sugar levels. Like a cigarette, the drink will initially give a boost, but all of this sugar is used up quickly, creating a successive blood sugar trough. This leads to low energy and cravings for something sweet. So the sugary drink is actually creating the sugar low and not curing it.
The following is taken from an article by Kelly Brownell in the Los Angeles Times, and doesn’t just make sense for the U.S, but for anywhere in the western world where obesity is rising.
“If America is looking for a way to raise revenue and cut health care costs, there is an obvious solution:slap a tax on fizzy drinks. Congress has discussed this idea, but shied away from taking action after coming under industry pressure. That was a mistake. By levying a cent per ounce national tax on sugared soft drinks, the US could raise about $150 billion over the next ten years, while also saving an estimated $50 billion in medical bills. That money could go a long way in addressing the country’s mounting health care bill. There’s no doubt that soda pop is one of the main culprits behind the obesity epidemic in the US. Each year, the average American drinks 50 gallons of coke and other sweet drinks, which are assiduously marketed to children through celebrity endorsements and product placement. Portion sizes have steadily grown: the typical 8-ounce bottle of the 1950s had morphed into a 20 ounce behemoth containing the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar. The industry complains that a soda tax would hurt the poor, but that’s a specious argument. As with tobacco, the poor stand to benefit the most, both health-wise and financially by reducing their consumption. It’s time to crack down on pop.”
So if you are looking for some personal training in London, or just want a good head start and some free advice, there it is. By cutting out sweet drinks and increasing exercise, you have lots more leeway on the eating side of things, and can eat a lot more good things while having treats from time to time.
For more nutritional tips and advice on all things fitness and health, have a look at our knowledge page.